Dear Prime Minister,
This is to bring into your notice and attention the rising discontent in the country and the global picture of, how we are sitting on a live volcano.
40,000 Indian walked to Delhi to reclaim their right to live respectfully in their own land. The walk was planned for over a year. Since independence, over 10 crore Indians have been displaced in the name of development. They have been forcibly uprooted from their homes, farmlands, fishing areas and forests to make way for dam reservoirs, irrigation projects,mines, plantations, highways, airports, tourist resorts & even parks and only less than 20% have ever been rehabilitated.
“In a recent survey in rural India, it is found that over 70% of people do not agree with the government’s plans and policies on land acquisition. But in the most undemocratic fashion, acquisition of land and displacement of life continue to be on the rise while the process of rehabilitation leaves much to be desired. It is not just the land under siege but livelihoods as well. 52% of India is yet agrarian and lives off the land. The government current policy and stance is allowing the big corporations to push into and monopolize the farmer’s market, condemning millions of people to unemployment, poverty and hunger.”
Every Indian will be disappointed and disgraced, looking at the UN Report on “multidimensional” picture of people living in poverty (MPI). There are more MPI poor people in eight Indian states alone (421 million in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal) than in the 26 poorest African countries combined (410 million).
In India 81% of people of Scheduled Tribes are multidimensionally poor, alongside 66% of those of Scheduled Castes and 58% of those of Other Backward Castes. About a third of other Indian households also fall in the same category, with an MPI just below that of Honduras. (UN – Human Development Report 2010)
What is shocking that with eminent thinkers, advisors and economists, our HDI (Human Development Index) is below the South Asian regional average. (2011 Report)
As, a able economist and second time Prime Minister, there are some pressing questions. Are we as a country overlooking the basic needs of the people? What has the projected development achieved so far?
Development is either there on the papers, or government records, or only for the big corporates, hence widening the gap between the rich and the poor.
The time has come to keep people’s interests before the so called “economic interests” or the large projects. The promises should no more remain just promises; laws on paper should be implemented.
It is the utmost duty of the PM’s office to restore the faith in the people towards their own country’s machinery. You can exercise your intellect and power and send out a strong message, plus ensure inclusive development. The solution is simple, keep the foot down, don’t let the companies abuse and exploit. Ensure that they follow the norms. Place the people of the communities at the center of decision making. It is the wake up call, and the need of the hour for actions not words.
Don’t let the people give up on the system, feel like the neglected children of their own country.
Amrita Anand works with Video Volunteers. Video Volunteers works in empowering community voices through training in critical thinking and creativity
Image Courtesy: [The Viewspaper]
Disclaimer: The above article is the personal opinion of the author and not of the publication.